I was chatting with my staff accountant the other day about her education and training goals for 2015, and she said she was actually more enthusiastic about QuickBooks-oriented training than tax-, technology- or industry-related conferences (which are my personal favorite topics). That got me started looking into the “best” QuickBooks events of the upcoming year. I’m sharing my research here but would love to hear any additional feedback from readers.
It seems there are three “biggies” in the specific world of QuickBooks: 1) QuickBooks Connect (a newcomer to the scene as of last year, but apparently big and beautiful), 2) Scaling New Heights (previously the star in the category), and 3) QuickBooks VCon (an entirely virtual conference, making it the obvious choice for the cash- or time-strapped). Other resources are the annual Sleeter Group Accounting Technology Conference, which is not QuickBooks-specific, but does have many seminars on QB-related topics, including third-party add-ons, and the regular traveling schedule or online resources of QuickBooks ProAdvisor Program certification classes in both QB Desktop and Online, as well as POS, and
Personally, I’m not into the big-name inspirational speakers, concerts, and social “bonding” among new colleagues — but the actual list of workshops, panels, seminars and presentations was pretty darned impressive, with an optional pre-conference during which professionals could take certification classes and exams.
2) Scaling New Heights — presented by Woodard Events, but contracted out by Intuit, this was until recently the “go-to” conference for QuickBooks users and professionals. I’m uncertain as to how it’s different from QB Connect (New Orleans vs. San Jose, or is there more to it?), except that the sheer number and variety of workshops is mind-boggling. The schedule and session description brochure was just released, and it’s wonderfully overwhelming. (As a related aside, they also offer a series of free webinars with Intuitive Accountant, another favorite resource of mine.)
3) QuickBooks VCon – an entirely virtual conference sounds like an amazing way to save time and money… although also challenging if it is your main conference of the year, since it might be harder to convince yourself to maximize your time and attend all the sessions you can (when you could so easily be walking the dog or working on client projects instead). That said, it’s put on by the same company that presents Scaling New Heights (above), is two-days long, and is Intuit’s single-largest event worldwide.
4) Sleeter Group Accounting Technology Conference – not specifically QuickBooks-focused, but as one of the leading accounting software companies, there is a lot here to offer QB folks, not the least of which is exposure to third-party software add-on solutions and competing products (see my blog post). PrintBoss even (mistakenly) refers to it as a “QuickBooks Conference” in their list of the best.
5) QuickBooks ProAdvisor Program – this is the place to go to find out about resources for certification, training, software, discounts, local advisor listings, support and more. It’s free for QB Online consultants, although there is a charge for QB Desktop consultants (yet another indication that Intuit is encouraging folks to move into the cloud).
Not a QuickBooks consultant, but you use the program regularly in your job or in running your own business, or you’re applying for a job where they want proof that you know the software? There’s a certification available for you, too: QuickBooks Certified User.
Other favorite QuickBooks training resources? Please share in the comments below.